Berlin: GSP Studios Seizes ‘Mad to Be Normal,’ Starring David Tennant

U.K. film company to handle international sales on R.D. Laing biopic


BERLIN — GSP Studios, the U.K. production and sales company, has taken international sales rights to “Mad to Be Normal,” starring David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Gambon and Gabriel Byrne. Sales on the R.D. Laing biopic will kick off Thursday at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market.

The film tells the story of the world-renowned Scottish psychiatrist Laing (Tennant) and his unique community of patients at Kingsley Hall in 1960s East London, where Laing performed various daring experiments on people who were at the time known as “disturbed.” His methods included using LSD and a type of self-healing, known as metanoia, much to the dismay and outrage of the psychiatric community.

The film is written and directed by Robert Mullan — R.D.Laing’s biographer and a veteran director of documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Director of photography is Ali Asad (“The Wee Man,” “The Hooligan Factory”) and the supporting cast includes David Bamber (“The King’s Speech,” “The Bourne Identity”) and Olivia Poulet (“Killing Me Softly,” TV drama “The Thick of It”).

The film will be produced by London-based Gizmo Films, in collaboration with GSP Studios and Bad Penny Productions. Much of the four-week shoot will take place at GSP’s production facilities in York, as well as on location in London. GSP Studios acts as both co-producer and sales agent on the U.K. production. International rights on the project were previously held by Double Dutch.

GSP Studios was formed in 2008 by Alan Latham, Kit Monkman and Thomas Mattinson. The company has produced over 15 films including “Extremis,” a post-apocalyptic thriller starring David O’Hara and Isabelle Allen; “Dusty & Me,” a heart-warming coming-of-age story set in the ’70s, starring Luke Newberry, Genevieve Gaunt, Iain Glen and Ian Hart; and “The Comedians Guide to Survival,” starring James Buckley of “The Inbetweeners” fame. The company has an annual production slate of five to seven films.

In 2015 GSP Studios launched the distribution and sales arm of the company, GSP Studios International, led by senior sales agent Simon Barnes.